KASAMA Vol. 23 No. 1 / January-February-March 2009 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

ISIS Graphic

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead,
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for -- but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler – ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

(Filipino version of Bread and Roses)

Habang nagmamartsa sa ganda ng umaga,
Dilim ng milyung kusina at libu-libong bubungan,
Hinawi ng liwanag ng araw, bagong sikat,
Dinig ang kanta natin: Bigas at sampagita.

Habang nagmamartsa, lalaki’y pinaglalaban
Sila’y anak din natin, muling alagaan
Di puro hirap buhay mula duyan hanggang hukay
Puso’t katawa’y gutom na : bigas at sampagita

Habang nagmamartsa, kababaihang humimlay na
sigaw sa kanta natin hiling nilang bigas
Sining, ganda’t pag-ibig bahagyang natamasa
Bigas pinaglalaban, ngunit sampagita rin

Habang nagmamartsa dala ang bagong bukas
Pagbangon ng babae ay pagbangon ng lahi
Walang isang pasasa sa pagod ng sampu
Bahaginan sa biyaya: bigas at sampagita

—Salin ni Inday Ofreneo

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Many thanks to EDNA AQUINO for sending this with her greetings for a HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

The poem, written by James Oppenheim to celebrate the movement for women’s rights and published in American Magazine in December 1911, is commonly associated with the Lawrence textile mill strike of 1912. During the strike, which was in protest of a reduction in pay, the women mill workers carried signs that quoted the poem, reading “We want bread, and roses, too”.

Bread and Roses was set to music by Mimi Fariña in the 1970s, and has become an anthem for labor rights, and especially the rights of working women, in the United States and elsewhere.

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